David Claerbout (born 1969 in Kortrijk, Belgium; lives and works in Antwerp, Belgium and Berlin, Germany).
Olympia (The real time disintegration into ruins of the Berlin Olympic stadium over the course of a thousand years)
Two channel real-time projection, colour, silent, HD animation, 1000 years (begun 2016)
“Olympia is a computer-generated replica of the Olympic Stadium in Berlin, which finds itself in a time-space devoid of human intervention and entrusted to the cycles of nature. Following the original ‘ruinenwert’ theory, in which the stadium’s own decay has been pre-incorporated, Olympia invokes a cycle of creation to dissolution by the slow force of nature.” – artist’s website
This is one of the few examples of contemporary art about Nazi architecture: a computer-generated replica of the Werner March-designed stadium in Berlin, built for the 1936 Olympics. Claerbout created a thousand-year computer program that realizes perpetual disintegration on a timescale beyond the capacity of human imagination. As a transfusion of the thousand-year Reich to posthuman digital simulacrum, however, the result is disturbingly neutral; it’s difficult to interpret Claerbout’s position towards Nazi architecture and Albert Speer’s theory of ruinenwert (ruin value).